After some recent reluctance, the White House will soon decide whether to make back-up cameras a required safety feature on cars, though it will cost new car buyers, who will no longer have an option to purchase it, only a requirement.
The Detroit News recently said that the Transportation Department has sent a long awaited rule to the White House for approval, just ahead of the January 2015 deadline to make a decision.
Congress approved legislation back in 2007 that was signed into law by former President George W. Bush requiring the government to set rear visibility rules by February 2011, but the Transportation Department has repeatedly delayed the rule while trying to determine what to do.
A law to require a back-up camera is aimed at helping to provide drivers extra visibility, with the safety aimed especially at young children and the elderly. NHTSA said installing cameras on all vehicles would cut fatalities in back-up crashes by as much as a third out of the nearly 300 annual back-over deaths that occur every year.
NHTSA has said that about 100 children age 5 or younger die annually in backup crashes and "there are strong reasons" to prevent such deaths. More than half of those 100 are 1 year old or younger.
In September, advocates for mandatory rear cameras filed suit-seeking to compel the Obama administration to set long-delayed regulations.
According to the Detroit News, The suit was filed by Consumers Union — the parent of Consumer Reports — Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Kids And Cars Inc., and two parents: Dr. Greg Gulbransen and Susan Auriemma. Auriemma, of Manhasset, N.Y., backed over her 3-year-old daughter, Kate, in her driveway in 2005, injuring her; Gulbransen, of Syosset, N.Y., backed over his 2-year-old son, Cameron, in 2002, killing him.
"It's mindboggling that two more children like Cameron are killed every week, yet the administration is content to postpone doing anything about it," said Gulbransen. "This isn't some technical abstraction, it's about actual people being injured and killed."
What's your take? Would a new requirement be an overreach of the government? Or is this something that is desperately needed?